One of the great things about this time of year is fetes and summer shows and they always have lovely homemade cake stalls. The weather may have been dreadful this summer but we British have been keeping calm and carrying on baking!
I spent a day in the kitchen baking for my local W.I. stall at a summer carnival. The weather was damp but spirits high and the cakes were as popular as ever. I took along some favourites – lemon Victoria sponge with lemon curd and lemon buttercream filling, carrot cake and some cupcakes decorated with sugarpaste roses and strawberries. Actually I was rather glad the weather wasn’t too hot as I got heated up enough in the kitchen! Phew!
The carrot cake was a new recipe for me based on Peggy Porschen’s Scrumptious Carrot Cake from her book Boutique Baking. I have to say I love this book – her cakes are absolutely gorgeous but on this occasion I decided to tone down the decoration a bit and make the cake a little more simple looking. Peggy layers three 6″ cakes but I went for two 8″ cakes. The recipe includes pineapple which gave the cake a lovely light fruitiness but I left out the walnuts and overall I was really pleased with the flavour and moistness as some carrot cakes can be too dry.
Recipe adapted from Peggy Porschen’s Scrumptious Carrot Cake :-
140ml sunflower oil
200g light soft brown sugar
1 large egg, beaten
300g carrots, peeled and grated
280g tin pineapple, drained and crushed
290g plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Preheat the oven to 180c and prepare two 8″ /20cm round tins
Whisk the oil and brown sugar together. Add the beaten eggs and beat well together then fold in all the other ingredients. Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake for about 50 minutes or until firm and golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
I filled my cakes with pineapple marmalade and lemon buttercream. The pineapple marmalade is made by pouring a small tin of crushed pineapple (with the juice) into a pan. Add 50g dark, soft brown sugar and heat gently, stirring, to dissolve the sugar. Then bring to the boil until it starts to thicken the pour into a jar. When it’s cool it can be used to spread on top of one of the cakes. Then spread a layer of lemon buttercream over this. (50g unsalted butter and 50g icing sugar with a teaspoon of lemon juice and a little lemon zest beaten well together.) Finally place the second cake on top.
Peggy Porschen decorates the outside of her cake by covering it with more lemon buttercream and making sugarpaste decorations but I decided to leave mine plain.
I’ve decided to enter this recipe for this month’s Tea Time Treats as their theme is cake stall bakes and I can’t wait to pop over and see what other bakes are there!